The War of the Worlds | Day 10 | Chapters 20-21 | Summary and Q&A

June 24, 2020
San Diego Public Library
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The War of the Worlds | Day 10 | Chapters 20-21


In chapters 3 and 4 of War of the Worlds, the narrator and the curate continue to face danger and distress as they witness the Martians' activities and struggle to survive their imprisonment.

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Key Insights

  • 👽 The War of the Worlds showcases the destructive power of a technologically advanced alien species.
  • 🤩 The breakdown of society and the emergence of mob mentality are key themes in the novel.
  • ♻️ The Martians' ability to adapt and survive in Earth's environment demonstrates their superior intelligence and resourcefulness.
  • 🛟 The curate's mental decline serves as a cautionary tale about the psychological impact of a widespread disaster.
  • 😀 The protagonist's survival instincts highlight the resilience of humanity in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.
  • 🤨 The novel raises questions about the nature of humanity, societal order, and the fragility of civilization.
  • 🛟 The Martians' actions showcase their indifference towards human life and their complete disregard for ethical considerations.


good afternoon everyone welcome to the adventure in mystery book club I am bill Mallory branch manager of the La Jolla library I'm hoping you're seeing this because every once in a while when they start one of these things it actually doesn't seem to start exactly when I'm thinking it's starting so the little beginning part seems to get cut off som... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: Why is the War of the Worlds considered a classic?

The War of the Worlds is considered a classic due to its timeless themes of survival, humanity's vulnerability, and the consequences of a superior alien invasion. The novel's gripping narrative and social commentary have resonated with readers for over a century.

Q: How do the Martians' actions reflect their alien nature?

The Martians' actions reflect their alien nature by their efficiency in feeding on human blood and their disregard for human life. Their technology demonstrates their scientific advancements, while their lack of compassion and understanding of human behavior further sets them apart from humans.

Q: What is the significance of the curate's mental decline?

The curate's mental decline highlights the psychological impact of the invasion on individuals. His descent into madness represents the breakdown of social order and morality in the face of a catastrophic event. It also serves as a contrast to the protagonist's resilience and resourcefulness.

Q: How does the author depict the Martians' superiority?

The author depicts the Martians' superiority through their advanced technology, such as the fighting machines and handling machines. Their ability to effortlessly overpower humans and their efficient methods of survival, like extracting blood for nourishment, showcase their dominance over the human race.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The unnamed protagonist and the curate are trapped in a house as the Martians continue their attacks on Earth. Society is breaking down, and they witness the inhumanity of people turning against each other.

  • They find themselves stuck in a house that is impacted by a crashing Martian cylinder. They are surrounded by the Martians' fighting machines, and they discover other tripods collecting humans, though the reason behind this is unknown.

  • In chapter 4, tensions rise between the protagonist and the curate, and they engage in a physical struggle. The curate's worsening mental state leads to his demise, and the protagonist hides in a coal cellar while the Martians search for him.

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